Trump flip-flopped three times in one day on whether terrorism in Europe is "unreported"


This is a story about how President Donald Trump says the media isn't telling you the whole story.

Trump went off on the press Monday at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Reporters, he said, intentionally hide news of terrorist attacks from the public, ostensibly to minimize the kinds of national security threats he says back up his attempt to ban refugees and citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States.

"It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said in Tampa. "They have their reasons and you understand them."

It wasn't long before press secretary Sean Spicer, who's been charged with both defending Trump's controversial travel bans and explaining just what it is Trump "actually" means with some of his remarks, was jogging that back.

Asked during a brief gaggle on Air Force 1 if Trump was implying the press was being devious to make him look bad, Spicer said, "No, that's not it. That's not what he said at all."

Then asked if Trump meant to say terror attacks were going unreported or underreported, Spicer, according to a pool report, opted for the latter, defending his boss to the hilt:

Spicer also promised the White House would back up its contention with a rundown of under-covered incidents: ""We'll provide a list later." he said, per the pool.

At MacDill, Trump discussed five major terror attacks that got wide press coverage.

The pushback on Twitter to his accusation, of course, was swift.

"Ya know... this journalist's beheading is kind of what thrust ISIS into the American consciousness, @RealDonaldTrump," tweeted NPR's Domenico Montanaro, who linked to a story about the death of reporter James Foley.

The Trump broadside and Spicer parsings on terror come after top presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway attacked the media's failure to cover a terrorist incident in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that never happened. 

In the evening, the White House did release a list of the incidents Spicer claimed had been "underreported."

Most, it claimed, per CNN, had not received "enough" attention from the media.

Among those listed: The San Bernardino, California killings of December, 2015 and the Paris concert hall massacre of that November.

You can read extensive coverage of those incidents here and here.